The Lord My Guardian


Psalm 121 mentions that God watches over every movement.
Could this psalm have been used as a blessing given to someone embarking on a dangerous journey?



From the Knox Translation, it certainly appears to be a blessing, a petition, and giving of thanks.

I lift up my eyes to the hills, to find deliverance; 2 from the Lord deliverance comes to me, the Lord who made heaven and earth. 3 Never will he who guards thee allow thy foot to stumble; never fall asleep at his post! 4 Such a guardian has Israel, one who is never weary, never sleeps; 5 it is the Lord that guards thee, the Lord that stands at thy right hand to give thee shelter. 6 The sun’s rays by day, the moon’s by night, shall have no power to hurt thee. 7 The Lord will guard thee from all evil; the Lord will protect thee in danger; 8 the Lord will protect thy journeying and thy home-coming, henceforth and for ever.

Compare this with Tobit’s journey.


This psalm could be interpreted today as the journey of a christian making his way on this earth. It is a very comforting psalm to hear God taking care of us in the most trying times.


Great minds think alike…
From the NABRE footnote commentary:

  • [Psalm 121] A blessing given to someone embarking on a dangerous journey whether a soldier going on a campaign or a pilgrim returning home from the Temple. (source)


  • [120:1] A song of ascents: Ps 120–134 all begin with this superscription. Most probably these fifteen Psalms once formed a collection of Psalms sung when pilgrims went to Jerusalem, since one “ascended” to Jerusalem (1 Kgs 12:28; Ps 24:3; 122:4; Lk 2:42) or to the house of God or to an altar (1 Kgs 12:33; 2 Kgs 23:2; Ps 24:3). Less probable is the explanation that these Psalms were sung by the exiles when they “ascended” to Jerusalem from Babylonia (cf. Ezr 7:9). The idea, found in the Mishnah, that the fifteen steps on which the Levites sang corresponded to these fifteen Psalms (Middot 2:5) must underlie the Vulgate translation canticum graduum, “song of the steps” or “gradual song.” (source)


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